(JollofNews) – This year’s parliamentary election is truly a remarkable event for our democracy. With the coalition parties at each other’s throats, it is hard to imagine how they can work together to deliver on all the promises they made during the presidential campaign which saw Adama Barrow winning the incumbent Yaya JAMMEH by only 3 per cent of the votes cast. The electorates decided for an all-inclusive government, what we are now seeing is far from being a unity government.
The decision by the eight political parties within the Coalition government of Adama Barrow to field in candidates in the National Assembly elections under their respective parties instead of letting the candidates stand under the ticket of the Coalition will result in a catastrophic defeat for the parties especially the UDP. While the alliance are busy competing among themselves in areas where they are supposed to ‘tactically’ field in the best candidates, their division is a gold mine for GDP and a good number of Independent candidates as well.
Based on a little research carried out within the 53 constituencies this week, the upcoming National Assembly elections will most likely result in a hung parliament with the parties outside of the Barrow’s Coalition government calling the shots. The projection was made with a 3 per cent margin of error:
Results of the first preliminary survey:- APRC (5.67%), GDC (26.42%), GMC (0%), GPDP (0%), NRP (5.66%), NCP (0%), PDOIS (16.98%), PPP (9.43%), UDP (20.75%) And Independent Candidates (15.09%).
According to the survey, Mai Fatty’s GMC and GPDP of Henry Gomez will be without any representation in the National Assembly if the message we are getting is accurate. Will they continue to hold on to their ministerial positions even without having any MPs representing their parties in the law making body? Likewise the NCP party will fail to win in Kerewan Administrative region where it has 3 candidates who, going by all indications, will definitely find it difficult to make an impact.
It is no doubt that the fragmentation within the coalition has significantly benefited the other parties such as the APRC, PDOIS and the GDC including some independent candidates. The idea for a tactical alliance to promote the agenda of UDP turned out to be a pipe dream. It seems they lack a viable strategy, and going to the polls without a strategy is like going to war without an enemy. Strategy and tactics must work together. If you have a strategy without tactics you have big thinkers and no action. If you have tactics without strategy, you have disorder.
Recent announcements from the Clerk of the National Assembly about the start of the first session of the new legislature to be held barely 5 days after the National Assembly elections is sending the wrong signals about the intentions of the Barrow Government to pass significant bills to the newly elected law makers when the modalities for electing a speaker and the composition of the House have yet to be determined. Is this not putting the horse before the cart? If there is going to be any bill to revoke the upper age limit of 65 years, a similar bill should also be passed to raise the retirement age from 60 to 65 years for all civil servants. What is good for politicians is also good for civil servants including the general working population as well.
Every election is an opportunity for the people to express their will, to have their say in who will lead them and represent them in the shaping of their future. The future is not looking good. We fought and closed a painful chapter in our nation’s torrid history now we are faced with challenges of tribalism, nepotism, cronyism and ineffectual leadership. As the old aphorism have it “Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges when there are no rivers.”
By MBO Gaye